Dragon Fire: Episode 21

When Terrin released the bow’s string and the arrow found its mark, he collapsed onto the dried grass of the field. As his body cooled, his legs began to throb and he could once again move them. The burning wheat field sent plumes of smoke into the air as field hands rushed to put out the fire. His strength spent, Terrin watched the burning field, the flames reflecting in his eyes.

“What happened?” he asked as Razham helped him to his feet.

Razham looked at Brius.

Before Brius could answer, Vanamir ran up to them.

“Amazing!” he exclaimed. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” Terrin asked, still breathing heavily.

“With the arrow and the fire, my boy!” Vanamir acted out what had happened, laughing as he mimicked the explosion.

Hearing the shouting of the field hands, Olds hurried out of his house and over to the burning field.

“What happened?” he asked looking from the field to Brius.

Brius looked over at Razham and then turned to Olds.

“There was a large. . .” Brius paused trying to find the right words, “. . .creature that came charging out of the woods. But before it could reach the farm, it exploded into flames, setting the field on fire.”

Olds eyed Brius for a moment then said,

“I know you, Brius. I know when you are hiding something from me. What happened?”

“Nothing more than what I said, my friend,” Brius assured him.

“And why did this creature explode into flames?” Olds asked, still eyeing Brius.

Brius paused then after a quick breath said,

“Razham.”

He turned to Razham extending his hand.

“He’s a tribal shaman. He used his um. . .” Brius trailed off. . . “tribal magic to set a fire that killed the creature.”

Brius stood firm, looking straight at Olds.

Olds glared at Brius then said,

“As you say, old man.”

Brius watched as Olds turned and headed back to his house. He knew he had not believed the story.

Confused, Vanamir and Terrin looked at Brius.

Terrin was the first to speak.

“What is this fire in me?” he asked Brius.

When Brius did not answer, Terrin grew angry.

“I want to know! What are you hiding from me?” he shouted as the grass encircling him began to burn, sending smoke curling up.

“I will tell you, my son,” Brius said holding up his hands. “Only you must be calm. When you grow angry or anxious, you burn.”

It was Razham who spoke.

“There is a legend from when I was a young boy. In a prosperous kingdom there lived a priest. It was said that this priest grew up in the church because his father died when he was very young. He came to think of the head priest as his father. The king often sought the head priest’s advice to rule the kingdom wisely. Because the boy was always at the priest’s side, he spent a great deal of time in the castle, and he and the king’s daughter grew very close. In time, the princess grew into a woman, fair and compassionate, and the young boy, having completed the ordination of priesthood, donned his robes and began administering the sacraments. As a woman, the princess was faithfully attended by her lady in waiting, and she found that seeing her childhood friend outside her royal duties became more and more difficult. The priest, always engaged in matters of the church, was free to openly see the princess only as a member of the clergy. But these two found ways to shed their roles and slip away together as childhood friends. The day came when the king arranged the marriage of his daughter to the ruler of a neighboring kingdom. The princess knew her time with her friend had come to an end. She would become queen, a married woman. And the priest would stay behind, following in the footsteps of the high priest, whom he still held in his heart as father. The two slipped away together in secret one last time. There were whispers among the townspeople that the princess did not love her betrothed. Just a week before the wedding, the young priest was falsely accused of worshiping the dark gods and was burned alive. But when the fire burned out, he came back to life, and the older priest had him locked away somewhere secret, never to be heard from or spoken of again. Months later, the princess, now a queen, gave birth to a son, but it was rumored this child was not a true son of the king.”

Razham looked away to the smoldering field then back to Terrin.

“Some claimed that the boy might have been the son of the dark priest.”

“What has this to do with me?” Terrin asked.

Razham hesitated, not wanting to answer.

“What?” Terrin snapped.

“The kingdom where the boy was born and would one day rule as king,” Brius paused uncertain of how to continue, “was Ethion.”

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Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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